Thursday, July 14, 2016

66 - Note on John Foster Dulles' Preparations for his Meeting with Moshe Sharett, November 20, 1955

Anticipating his meeting the next day with Sharett, Dulles explained the American position to the British Ambassador in Washington, Sir Roger Makins, as follows: 
Sharett was in the country for two or three weeks and was obviously doing more than selling bonds. He was attempting to go over the head of the US Government in an effort to build up pressure here for Israel’s demands for arms and a security guarantee. [- - -] The Secretary said that he intended to make the meeting somewhat more than [a courtesy call, as requested by the Israeli Embassy] He intended to say to Mr Sharett: (1) that the Israel Government must accept the proposal’s of the Secretary’s August 26th speech more unequivocally than it has; (2) with respect to territory, it must do more than make a few minor mutual adjustments, it must relinquish a section of the Negev to the Arabs to make possible a land connection between Egypt and the rest of the Arab world; and (3) the Israel Government must undertake to keep the situation in the area calm. [- - -] The Secretary said that he would tell Sharett that under those circumstances the US would do all that it could to persuade the Arab states to reach a settlement. [- - -] The Secretary said that Sharett must understand that the present Near East situation imperils us as well as Israel and Israel “must put something more in the pot” to make a settlement possible.
According to the British Ambassador’s report of this conversation, a further purpose of the meeting with Sharett would be “to dispell the idea in Israel minds that there was a difference between” U.S. and U.K. policy. “Mr Dulles went on to say that the Israel Foreign Minister would not like what we would hear. It would be on the same lines but much more categorical than what he had said to Mr Sharett in Geneva. It was, however, very necessary. The Israelis could not expect us to support them in a position which would not only be suicidal for themselves, but threatened to be suicidal for us if we supported them.” 

SOURCES: FRUS 1955-1957 XIV, doc.420; Makins to FO, tgm.2829, November 20, 1955, TNA FO371/115883 VR1076/419G.